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Name: In re A.B.
Case #: A140804
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/29/2014

Mother was not entitled to a hearing on issues already litigated when court placed minors with father and ordered a home visit. Minors were removed from mother and placed with their respective fathers pursuant to section 361.2. After a contested disposition hearing, the court upheld its earlier orders, declined mother’s request for services, and ordered the Agency to conduct home visits and report back within three months. In an earlier appeal, the appellate court affirmed these orders. The juvenile court subsequently issued orders which again denied her reunification services and terminated jurisdiction to one of the minors. Mother appealed, contending she had a due process right to a further evidentiary hearing on the home visit reports which could not be conditional on her offer of proof, and in the alternative, that her offer of proof was sufficient to require an evidentiary hearing. The appellate court rejected her argument and affirmed. Under section 361.2(b)(2), the juvenile court may place the minor with a previously noncustodial parent and order a home visit within three months. The court has the discretion whether or not to hold a hearing on the home visit report which should focus on the minor’s safety in the home. Neither section 361.2(b)(2) nor due process requires a court to hear evidence on any issue a party wants to litigate when it has requested a home visit. Here, the issue of reunification services had already been heard at the disposition hearing. Therefore, conditioning a further hearing on an offer of proof did not deny mother due process.